London – Around 1,000 Liverpool fans have been left stranded and risk missing the Champions League final in Kiev after a travel firm cancelled three flights to the Ukraine capital.
Worldchoice Sports announced on its Facebook page that it had been unable to secure enough landing slots for the aircraft, issuing a “huge apology” to ticket holders.
The devastating news comes as anger grows over spiralling accommodation and travel costs for those travelling for Saturday‘s match against defending champions Real Madrid.
“With deep regret, we have had to cancel three flights to Kiev,” the statement said. “Due to so many flights going into Kiev, Kiev Boryspil has unable to allocate times for aircraft.
“We have worked extremely hard over the last 48 hours trying to resolve these issues. We have had Liverpool football club, police, UEFA and everyone at the highest levels of authority trying to resolve this.
“We have exhausted all avenues to try and get landing slots. We have had them from Liverpool airport and Manchester airport and we have applied for slots in the correct manner and timeframe with the authorities. To reiterate this problem is with Kiev.”
Fans voiced their frustrations on the Worldchoice Sports Facebook page.
“Are you going to refund their match tickets as well? Some people paid over a grand for a game they now can‘t get to,” said one.
Another said: “Disgrace. Should have given a heads-up to people soon as they knew there was a problem — 48 hours‘ more notice would have helped no end.”
The Liverpool Echo newspaper said supporters had paid nearly £1,000 for the trip.
Liverpool Football Club said Thursday they were working with “all of the relevant stakeholders in the UK and Ukraine” in an attempt to resolve the situation.
“Flights chartered by Worldchoice Sports had been set to take supporters to Ukraine, but a dispute between the Widnes-based travel company and the aviation authorities in Kiev over the size of the aircraft has led to the trips being cancelled,” said a statement on the club‘s website.
“Along with officials from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Liverpool City Council, UEFA and the authorities in Kiev, Liverpool FC has been endeavouring to resolve the issue since it first came to light and will continue to do so until all avenues have been exhausted.”